The business case for energy efficiency

Five people dressed in business casual.

When it comes to improving your bottom line, energy efficiency is proven, effective, and brilliant in its simplicity. Learn the business case for saving energy below.


Make money saving energy

Most organizations can achieve annual energy savings of 2-10 percent through better energy management. Many ENERGY STAR partners have saved much more, including a school district that reduced its entire energy budget by 60 percent!

The value of energy efficiency

Energy costs are rising and are not likely to drop. While new technologies and renewable energy sources are gaining in popularity, energy efficiency remains the easiest — and single most cost-effective — way to cut energy use. The most energy-efficient buildings in America —  those that have earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR — use 35 percent less energy than typical buildings, all without trade-offs in performance or comfort.

Research also shows that more efficient buildings have higher occupancy rates and increased asset value compared to typical buildings. Tenants want real estate with lower utility bills, and more and more organizations are implementing leasing policies mandating environmentally friendly space. What’s more, consumers and employees report a desire to affiliate with organizations they perceive to be environmentally responsible. Read more about the ten reasons to pursue ENERGY STAR certification for your properties.

Standard operating procedure

More than half of the Fortune 100® works with ENERGY STAR to improve their buildings’ energy performance. So do eight of the 10 largest U.S. healthcare organizations, major league sports teams, colleges and universities, small businesses, and entire cities. In total, more than 6,000 organizations are working with EPA and ENERGY STAR to make their properties more energy efficient.

ENERGY STAR partner logos

Knowledge is power

Just like going on a diet, the process of “stepping on the scale” every month has the power to motivate and transform. After all, those extra “pounds” could become extra dollars. A recent study found that commercial buildings that regularly benchmarked their energy performance in EPA’s Portfolio Manager™ tool cut their energy bills by seven percent over three years (2.4 percent per year on average). That’s equal to:

For a 500,000-square-foot office building:

  • Cumulative cost savings of $120,000
  • Increase in asset value of over $1 million

For a medium-box retailer with 500 stores:

  • Cumulative cost savings of $2.5 million
  • Increase in sales of 0.89%

For a full-service hotel chain with 100 properties:

  • Cumulative cost savings of $4.1 million
  • Increase in revenue per available room of $1.41

For an 800,000-square-foot school district:

  • Cumulative cost savings of $140,000
  • Salary of 1.2 full-time teachers each year

A low-risk investment

It doesn’t take a lot of money to start saving energy. First, make a commitment, benchmark your energy performance, and create a plan — all with no capital investment needed. Next, start with the no- and low-cost opportunities. Capture those wasted energy dollars and use them to finance more low-cost improvements. Keep saving, keep improving. When you’re ready, you can point to the value of good energy management and secure the capital you need for bigger projects. Read more about:

Stop procrastinating

The cost of holding off for another year could be substantial. On average, 30 cents of every dollar that organizations spend on energy use in commercial buildings is wasted through inefficiencies. How much money is your organization wasting?

No matter how good you look at it, energy efficiency has to be the nut that everybody embraces. It is paying off no matter how you look at it.

~ Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)​

Spread the word

Thanks to these leading orgs for sharing why they earn the ENERGY STAR for their bldgs!